The unceasing celebrity of grinning Canto-pop duo Twins becomes particularly unfathomable when witnessing relative unknowns Janice and Jill Vidal on stage. Conversations stop, abandoned cigarettes fizzle into snaking coils of ashen powder while tabla beats and trumpet tones become enmeshed in a confection of silky, caramel vocals. Looking good and sounding even better, you can only wonder why these soul sisters remain one of Hong Kong's best-kept secrets. I met the twins a few days before their Sunday night appearance at Liquid (unlike their more famous contemporaries, the Vidals were born on the same day: April 13, 1982). As they hold hands and answer questions for each other, it's initially hard to decipher the two as individuals. Having left school at 16, the idea was to get a record deal together. Things haven't quite gone to plan, as Jill, the less focused of the two, explains: 'I left in 2000 to go backpacking around Asia for a year with my boyfriend at the time. And when I came back Janice (far right) said to me: 'Jill, guess what, I got signed!' I was so upset.' At this point, Janice - the eldest by three minutes - rises in indignation. 'But she left! What was I supposed to do? [Turning to Jill] How did I know when you'd be back?' Things look set to explode into fierce sibling rivalry before they both dispel any tension with snickering chuckles. 'Sometimes I wish I hadn't gone, though,' Jill admits. Unlike most of their peers at Mei Foo's Delia School of Canada, the Vidals decided against furthering their education and instead turned to a career singing to the A-list. Their first gig was organised by their father at the Gold Coast Hotel in Tuen Mun, but they soon found themselves performing to the glitterati at Happy Valley's Pink Mau Mau. Just as things were taking off, however, Jill succumbed to her romantic instincts and left the more career-motivated Janice to go solo and win herself a place on an artist development scheme with a major label. 'Jill was busy being in love while I was busy singing,' Janice smiles. Upon her return, the two began to sing together again, although these days Jill spends more time modelling for local designers than singing. With a Korean mother and a half Filipino, half Spanish father, it is the latter's musical genes and his collection of Motown records that are responsible for making the sisters 'feel black inside', according to Janice. 'Although we're influenced by everything,' she adds. 'Acid jazz, hip-hop, new wave, drum'n'bass.' 'On my mother's side were the more ambitious, non-musical types,' continues Jill. 'Our father was the one who got us into singing, he had no qualms about us not furthering our education so that we could pursue it properly.' 'They're divorced now,' adds Janice, matter-of-factly. 'We grew up with our father. Our mother lives in Korea, and she hasn't heard us sing once. It's so disappointing.' Tired of the emphasis on plastic, commercially motivated music in Hong Kong, both would like to eventually try their luck in the United States. 'It's a shame, but this is not a place for serious artists to grow,' says Janice. 'If you're not into Canto-pop then you're not as appealing to the record companies, as you cater to a smaller crowd.' And these days, there's not even the distraction of boyfriends to stop them. 'We've both forgotten what it's like to be in love,' Jill says. 'No guys come up to us, you know? People say to me, 'Jill, you're so unapproachable'. But I'm, like, the nicest person. I can't believe it. Guys just seem to get scared.' The Vidal Sistaz perform every Sun and Wed, 10.30pm at Liquid (G/F 1-5 Elgin St, Central. Inquiries: 2549 8386). Janice Vidal performs every Thu, Fri and Sat, 11pm at Le Piano Bar & Cafe (Winner Bldg, Shop B&D, 11 Wong Nai Chun Road, Happy Valley. Inquiries: 2893 7911).